Barbara Helfferich, Spokeswoman for the Environment at the Commission said yesterday “The Commission considered that the Cypriot Authorities had not taken the necessary measures to protect the Cyprus Grass Snake, contrary to the requirements of directives on the conservation and habitats of flora and fauna.”
The case concerns a local species of snake, Natrix Natrix Cypriaca, which is an endemic priority species and which needs strict protection.
After sending an initial notice, requiring the Government to designate a conservation area or Site of Community Importance (SCI), the Commission sent a “Reasoned Opinion” on July 6 2008.
Helfferich alleges that the Government made several promises that designation was imminent but only recently received notification that Paralimni lake, in which the snake lives, had been set aside as an SCI.
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